Two life-long friends, Melissa and Erica, have each spent many summer weekends traveling to music festivals around the Mid-Atlantic and beyond. While at a festival together in 2011, they decided Highland County, with plenty of open space and surrounding scenic beauty, was ready for a festival of its own. In 2013 they started the Blue Grass Valley Music Fest, an annual event that now takes place every August. Set on the idyllic Potomac Farm, which is owned by Melissa’s parents, the festival features an impressive roster of roots music acts, as well as an array of family friendly activities for all ages. In addition to the music, the festival also features local food, a farmer’s market, yoga, arts and crafts, fishing, hiking and biking. “It is a celebration of our community, and there is definitely something for everyone,” says Melissa, who grew up in Highland County and, after spending some time away, moved back with her husband to raise their children.
“After going to many festivals, I took something I really liked about each of them and tried to combine it into everything that I think Highland County has to offer.”
While creating a festival that’s an expression of the local culture in Highland, the organizers want to offer an experience that will bring people from outside the area to visit. “We’re producing a festival that can promote our beautiful home and attract music lovers from all over,” says Erica. “The scenic backdrop of the festival is absolutely breathtaking. Snowy Mountain is in the background and the Blue Grass Valley acts as a natural amphitheater, so the music sounds amazing.”
Helping the Festival Grow
The Highland County community has been ready and willing to help make the Blue Grass Valley Music Fest a success. “Without the continued support of businesses and volunteers from our community, the festival would not be a reality,” Melissa says. “It’s amazing to see how people rally together to help before, during, and after the event, simply because they want to help, not because they have to.”